What’s one thing that thriving membership programs have in common? It’s simple: They are masterful at designing and executing exceptional member experiences.
During our recent webinar with The Joy of Membership, we uncovered the eight stages of the member experience and shared creative ways you can weave eLearning into your membership journey.
The key to member attraction, engagement, and retention is the value you provide at all journey stages. Joy Duling of The Joy of Membership identifies the three types of value that play a role in how members perceive their member experience and the corresponding stages in the member journey:
- Value Anticipation: How can you set up the prospective member to feel like they will have a positive experience with your organization? This is a key question to ask during the membership journey’s Discovery, Contemplation, and Activation stages.
- Value Validation: Now that the member has joined your organization, will you deliver on your promises? Consider how you can validate your member’s experience in the Onboarding, Early Engagement, and Extended Engagement stages.
- Value Longevity: Do your members feel like there is more to be gained from your membership? Pre-Renewal and Post-Renewal are opportune stages to keep your members engaged for the long haul.
But that leads to another question: How does eLearning fit in? Let’s look at how organizations can leverage their learning management system (LMS) to provide value at each stage of the member journey:
- Use list-building lead magnets: Find the access points of your audience and make sure you’re easily discoverable as a resource or solution to their problems. For example, using gated content on your LMS, such as an eBook or webinar, helps track who is interested in learning more about your organization and subsequently builds your lists.
- Leverage strategic partnerships: Co-create content with another organization of interest to your audience and give them a presence on your LMS through webinars, virtual exhibit booths, and special learning content. This is a great way to build credibility with prospective members.
- Share teaser content: Use nano- or micro-learning to draw prospective members further into the membership journey. Consider using industry influencer learning content on your LMS to help get people “in the door.”
- Make membership the “next logical step”: Make the membership sign-up process a clear call-to-action on your LMS via a highly visible button or another visual cue.
Activation & Onboarding
- Provide new member orientation: Build out new member orientation courses in your LMS with all the information new members need to succeed at your organization. This allows the ownership of the learning to be shifted to the learners and demonstrates your value through specialized training.
- Offer a learning library stacked with quick wins: Build a set of free courses to lend immediate credibility and value.
Early & Extended Engagement
- Create members-only content: Exclusive content for your organization members ensures that you’re providing something valuable that they won’t be able to access for free elsewhere.
- Develop a special learning series: Also known as “product bundles,” a specialized learning series groups content based on similar subject matter and are an easy way to repurpose various pieces of your LMS content.
Pre-Renewal & Post-Renewal
- Reward longevity: Allow learners to unlock content based on membership longevity or milestone achievements.
- Offer advanced learning opportunities: Reinforce the value of your learning content and remind members why they joined in the first place with specialized content designed for advanced learning.
There’s much more to learn! Watch our entire on-demand webinar with The Joy of Membership, and download The Joy of Membership’s 25 CAREpoints that share a breakdown of the membership journey and ideas to enhance the member experience at each stage.
About the Authors
Joy Duling has been working with leaders of associations, trade groups, and nonprofits since 2005 through her consulting practice, aptly named The Joy of Membership.
She has gained recognition as a speaker, online educator, podcaster, and trusted advisor in that role. She has extensive experience in experience design, strategic planning, team facilitation, change management, and association operations.
But Joy doesn’t just talk the talk. She has also walked in the shoes of a nonprofit builder, spending a decade as Executive Director for a 501(c)(3) organization. She helped launch and grow to more than a million dollars in recurring annual revenue.
Central Illinois is where Joy calls home, but through the magic of the Internet, she connects with and works with membership organizations all over the globe.
As the Vice President of Learning Strategy & Development at Blue Sky eLearn, Dan Streeter leads a world-class team of instructional design professionals that enable nonprofits, associations, and businesses to build exceptional learning content.
Dan became an expert in learning, instructional design, and presentation delivery through his over 20 years of experience as an award-winning public education teacher, administrator, and entrepreneur. Dan founded IMPART Learning Solutions which was acquired by and became a division of Blue Sky eLearn in January of 2020.